H.E. Pietsch

H.E. Pietsch: The Profound Effect of One; Reflets dans la Sainte Chapelle

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The Profound Effect of One, which H.E. Pietsch wrote in 2005, is presented in two versions on this CD, one for string quartet and string orchestra and one for two pianos. The piece shows the strong influence of Philip Glass, particularly his work around the time of Akhnaten, in its simple tonality, regular pulse, repetition of harmonic patterns, and sweeping melodies. Pietsch doesn't take the risks that make Glass' work so effective, though, and the piece comes off as largely derivative. Its expansive sonic washes are attractive, but lack the tension and drama that Glass creates so successfully through his deployment of comparably simple forces. Reflets dans la Sainte Chappelle, for strings, vibraphone, and percussion, was inspired by the windows of the magnificent thirteenth century Parisian chapel. It aims for new age atmospherics and successfully fulfills that goal. The combination of vibraphone, strings, and gongs creates an appealingly colorful evocation of light and shadow playing on the chapel's stained glass. The sound quality is clean and the engineering creates an appropriate sense of spaciousness. The CD should be of interest to fans of acoustic new age music that's unaltered by electronics.

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